When you’re involved in a vehicle collision, you’ll likely experience several types of accident-related losses. You’ll face medical bills for your injuries and necessary treatment, and if you miss time from work, you may also lose some income.
A personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the value of your claim by determining the extent of the losses related to your accident. When you lose time from work due to injury, you deserve to get that money back, as it can be critical to your financial well-being.
There is limited time to take action against the party at fault for your collision and pursue the compensation you deserve. If you’re injured in a car crash, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer for legal guidance.
What Does “Wage Loss” Mean?
Wage loss is one of the most common kinds of recoverable losses after a car accident.
Lost wages are wages you’ve missed out on as a result of time off from work. Wage loss covers the whole time you’ve missed from work, from the day you became too injured to work to the day you returned to work. This includes income, benefits, and bonuses you could have earned without taking time off.
It’s important to note that the reason behind your taking time off work must be accident related. However, if you had a previous condition or injury that was aggravated by your collision, it could also count toward your lost wages if your worsened condition caused you to miss work.
Understanding wage loss can be tricky and confusing, but your car accident lawyer can figure out the amount of the lost wages you could pursue based on your specific circumstances.
Diminished or Lost Earning Capacity
Wage loss isn’t the only type of work-related compensation you can attempt to collect. When discussing lost wages, it is also critical to consider earning capacity.
Your “earning capacity” refers to your ability to earn a living. It does not refer to your past or current earnings but rather your capacity to make a future living. Therefore, a “diminished” or “lost” earning capacity refers to your inability to make a living in the future.
Your car accident injuries can strongly impact your future and your ability to live a normal life. Because of these injuries, you may not be able to work in the same capacity you once did. You may need to find another job that suits your new limitations, or you may not be able to work at all.
You might be able to recover damages for diminished or lost earning capacity. Your personal injury lawyer can review your circumstances to determine the value of these damages.
Calculating Lost Wages — Who’s Responsible for Paying Lost Wages After a Collision?
Simply put, the party responsible for your accident is usually financially liable for your accident-related injuries and losses. Therefore, the liable party would need to pay for your lost wages.
Determining who’s at fault for your accident is one of the most important parts of a collision claim. First, you’ll need to figure out what caused your accident, as the answer to this question can provide insight into who would be responsible for causing your crash.
Many parties can be liable for an accident, and depending on the details of your collision, more than one party may share liability. Some of the parties commonly at fault in collision cases include:
- Drivers, including car and truck drivers
- Car or truck parts manufacturers and distributors
- Parties responsible for vehicle maintenance
- Government entities
Once your personal injury lawyer determines who is responsible for your accident and therefore your damages, they can figure out the best way to pursue compensation. You may file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit depending on the party and their situation.
Proving Your Wage Loss
It is not enough to claim you’ve lost wages — you must also show some concrete proof.
Some of the evidence often used to prove wage loss include:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s notes
- Pay stubs
- Letters from your employer
Your car accident lawyer can request and obtain these critical pieces of evidence to strengthen your case and improve your chances of obtaining lost wages after an accident.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Recover Lost Wages
Car accident attorneys play significant roles in collision claims. Your attorney can take on your case and handle every necessary task associated with pursuing justice and fair compensation.
When it comes to recovering lost wages, your attorney can calculate the value of your lost wages, request and obtain evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies.
Additionally, outside of recovering lost wages, lawyers have many other case-related responsibilities, including:
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Determining cause and fault
- Investigating your accident
- Representing your best interests from start to finish
While you can pursue monetary recovery after an accident, there is never a guarantee. Nonetheless, having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can substantially increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for the losses you experience after a car crash.
Consult with an Attorney as Soon as Possible After a Car Accident
If you sustain injuries in a car wreck, do not wait to consult with a car accident lawyer. There is limited time to take action and pursue compensation, and waiting too long can negatively impact your chances of financial recovery.
The attorneys at Slater & Zurz have over 31 years of experience representing clients injured in car accidents. We strive to put our clients and their needs first while we do everything possible to reach the most favorable outcome.
With our legal team, you can expect top-quality representation while also getting the care and compassion you deserve. We want to help you feel confident and at peace, knowing your case is in the most capable hands.
Contact Slater & Zurz today to request a complimentary consultation with a qualified car accident lawyer.